Showing posts with label vampires. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vampires. Show all posts

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Warm Bodies

, ,
in Warm Bodies Feb 2013
Why I thought zombies made rotten lovers . . .

Lao Tzu said character is destiny and it holds true in fiction as well as ‘real’ life. How characters think, what informed their past, what hopes excite them, as well as their physicality, combine to create the next twist or turn in the story. So how can a mindless, flesh eating zombie EVER be a love interest? Paranomal hero can, but zombies NO!

That's what I used to think. I said in interviews that it was impossible to write a ‘zombie romance’. I even stated something along the lines of  You’ll never see a zombie romance! It could never work.


No matter how brilliant the plot or true the love, characters have to have a potency of their own, and it's got to be driving, charismatic. They must grow, change, exhibit emotions (or repress them), have likes and dislikes, flaws and attributes. Basically, they have to be ‘real’ people that the reader, or the viewer, can relate to. If they don’t feel alive they might as well be, you guessed it, zombies, and that’s not going to make anyone’s’ heart throb, or so I thought.

Then I picked up Warm Bodies.

How in the world does one bring a zombie to life?
Isaac Marion has the answer. You give them heart, or at least, a vestige of one. Once that awakens, a whole new world unfolds, where even a zombie can fall in love. Warm Bodies, a paranormal romance/horror/thriller, is the living proof. zombies don’t always make rotten lovers.

Warm Bodies by
Isaac Marion
It might also be proof of a shift in our collective unconscious. I've talked before about vampires and other paranormal ‘monsters’ as 'expression of the collective shadow', and how our shifting relationship to these ‘demons’ in film and literature reflects a shift in our consciousness as we form a new relationship to that ‘shadow.’  (see Evolution of the Vampire Revisited) Falling for a zombie is definitely taking up a lot of new file space in my research. This thesis just keeps expanding! Bottom line, as a species, we are opening up, connecting with our dark side and transforming it through love.

Whether this book and film are new trend in paranormal romance, (is that possible?) or a statement about evolving human consciousness, Warm Bodies is a fun read! It’s a story about R, a young man in a state of existential crisis because he’s not alive, and not really dead. It’s set in a post-apocalyptic USA where R has no memories, until he eats someone's. His growth arc is huge!

When the memories in one of his victim’s brains affect him, he finds himself attracted to, rescuing, befriending and eventually falling in love with the dead boy’s still living-girlfriend. Julie (Australia’s own Teresa Palmer) is a blast of colour in the dreary and grey landscape that is the “life” of the un-living. Their tense, awkward and strangely sweet relationship develops into something that will not only transform R, but his fellow zombies . . .  Warm Bodies the film 2013

It appears love is infectious after all!

Has anyone seen the film? Read the book? Let’s compare notes!

Kim Falconer is a Supernatural Underground author writing paranormal romance, urban fantasy, YA and epic science fantasy novels.

You can find out more about Kim at or on The 11th House Blog. She posts here at the SuperntrlUnderg on the 16th of every month. Her latest release is Supernatural Underground: Vampires Gone Wild.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Reality Check: the Vampyre Subculture

The winner of the signed copy of Sacrifice is rachel445! Contact me via my website so I can get your mailing information.

So sorry to be late posting the winner of the giveaway! I had a computer crash and I'm still recovering.
It's hard to dodge the influence of vampires on pop culture today, with Twilight, Vampire Diaries, True Blood, and a plethora (always wanted to use that word) of vampire books on the market. All of these focus on supernatural vampires, creatures I'll assume don't actually exist. (Aw ...) I'd like to talk about lifestyle vampires, humans who model themselves after supernatural vampires because it fulfills some need of theirs. Many in this subculture call themselves vampyres to distinguish themselves from the supernatural variety.

Vampyres don't just belong to clubs that meet every Saturday night to discuss the latest True Blood episode. They incorporate their chosen lifestyle into everything they do, including forming extended "families"--clans-- that may come to mean more to them than their real families, who don't understand their urges. It isn't play. It's serious business. Generally vampyres look at the dark side of life, like Goths, and share other characteristics of Gothic appearance: black-lined eyes, blood-red lips, Victorian-style clothing, black fingernails, and frequently white-as-chalk faces, implying their need for blood and deep familiarity with the night. As I understand it, the Goths don't like their appearance being co-opted by vampyres, but there's little they can do beyond make an occasional fuss.

In addition to shared needs to belong (are the clans really a variant of gangs?), the vampyres believe they have things in common with the supernatural vampires, such as the need to draw life energy from others in the form of blood, sexual energy, or psychic energy. Also, those who have some form of minor or major mental illness, ranging from lack of lack of ability to deal with other people to schizophrenia sometimes feel these aren't flaws at all, but due entirely to their vampyrism. It's easy to see why this lifestyle can draw people who are uncertain about their own identities. There are thought to be about 10,000 vampyres in the U.S., ranging from those with a mild interest who like the costumes to those who sleep in coffins.

A clan meeting involves secret rituals that may or may not include drinking blood, but the odds are much higher with sanguinarians, or sangs, defined by their thirst for blood. Sangs don't do the whole Goth dress-up and usually try to disassociate themselves from vampyres. They feel their need for blood is a part of their physical makeup, and don't like publicity or the current popular emphasis on vampires. They don't use fangs; they draw blood with a razor blade and suck it down, almost always from a willing donor. Being practical about it, they test their donors for blood-borne diseases.

Vampyrism can turn deadly. In the Rod Ferrell case, the sixteen-year-old Florida clan leader killed the parents of one of the members of his clan.


(Image removed. Apparently I mistook a sex toy for a custom-molded vampire mouth accessory. My bad.)

Fake vampire teeth are available, from cheap plastic ones used at Halloween to fancier custom-molded, full mouth designs that are similar to movie effects. Some vampyres have their teeth ground to sharp points, or have fang-like caps placed over their incisors, but this can be awkward at the day job.

Bottled fake blood can be bought or homemade. Here's a recipe for edible blood, just in time for Halloween or your next clan meeting.  Yum!

  • 1 Cup Warm Water
  • 4-5 Tablespoons Light (clear) Corn Syrup
  • 5-10 Drops of Red Food Coloring
  • 1 Drop of Blue Food Coloring
  • 3 Tablespoons of cocoa powder
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the warm water and cocoa powder, until entirely dissolved. It should look like hot chocolate. Avoid adding whipped cream and marshmallows.
  2. Mix in the light corn syrup until entirely dissolved. Continue adding tablespoon by tablespoon, until a syrupy consistency is reached.
  3. Mix in food coloring. If too thick, thin with warm water. If too thin, add a small amount of sifted flour. (Recipe from 
What do you think of the vampyric culture? Know any? Are you one?

Sacrifice BadgeI'm giving away a signed copy of my latest release, Sacrifice: Mortal Path Book 2. To enter, sign up for the "Put Yourself in the next Mortal Path book!" drawing on my blog. Click on the badge to the right for details. Then leave a comment here. This giveaway ends at midnight on Halloween and the winner will be posted at the top of this blog entry on Monday, November 1st. Check back to see if you're the signed copy winner!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Joss in Lockdown Mode=Special Giveaway Day


Happy Tuesday everyone! It's sun-shiney here and it's going to be a lovely Indian Summer day here in Michigan. How about where you are?

I'm in writing lockdown on multiple deadlines, and preparing to head to Italy (I know! I know!!) for a mini book tour two weeks from today, so this is going to be a short but sweet post with a juicy little giveaway today. How's that?

Most of you probably know I also write a female vampire hunter series as Colleen Gleason (The Gardella Vampire Chronicles), and a week from today the world of the Gardellas will be featured in a new anthology called Bespelling Jane Austen.

Included in the anthology are Mary Balogh, myself, Susan Krinard and our own Supernatural Underground's Janet Mullany. Each of us has taken a Jane Austen novel and bespelled it--ie, given it a paranormal twist.

How much fun is that? So of course, I'm going to share the wealth with our Supernatural Underground readers and give away a copy of this lovely trade paperback anthology and the first book in my Gardella Vampire Chronicles series to two lucky winners.

That's right. Two winners. Two books each. Didn't I tell you it was gonna be juicy?

All you have to do to enter is comment below and tell me what your favorite classic novel is, and whether you'd like to see it "tweaked" or redone with a paranormal or erotic or contemporary twist...or whether you like it just the way it is.

Please share on FB and Twitter, don't get extra credit for it, but we appreciate our readers helping to spread the word!

I'll draw winners tomorrow in hopes of getting the books out before the actual release date.

And by the way...if you like classic novels redone with an erotic twist, you might want to check out Colette Gale's versions of The Phantom of the Opera, The Count of Monte Cristo, and the Robin Hood love triangle. *wink wink, nudge nudge*

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Forbidden Fruit (And Don't We Love It!)

We've all met the forefathers of the paranormal world. Bram Stoker's Dracula, George Waggner's The Wolf Man, and other early prototypes of the much-maligned fur-and-fanged world have been ingrained in our racial memory almost as deeply as a fear/fascination of fire.

Think I'm joking? Don't worry, I am... mostly. While there is no (credible) evidence of fanged cavemen stalking the Neanderthals of ages past, there is, instead, a like fascination with the things that go bump in the night. We have loved to hate vampires who creep through bedroom windows, cheered when the werewolves have been put down by silver bullets (carefully crafted from one's father's melted down watch, natch), covered our eyes when the blood-bathing witch was burned at the stake and the souls of her cursed victims set free.

If you're here, then you share that love with me.

And perhaps you can answer a question that has always interested me: How, in all that is (un)holy, did vampires go from this unfortunate child of the night to this blessed hunk of blood-love? Where in our society did we decide that being stalked by furry-faced flesh-eaters was not nearly so fun as being seduced by them?

I have a theory, gentle (and not so gentle) readers. My theory is this: We as a species, a culture and a shared memory are routinely fascinated by the forbidden. From as majestic as the ancient tales of locked gateways to heaven to the mundane as being told we shouldn't touch the stove, we are drawn to that which we cannot have.

A creature of the night who is as likely to kill me as kiss me is about as forbidden fruit as I can get. Add in the most-certainly intimate trappings of blood, penetration of fang (hey, now!), and the invariable mechanics of dark nights and lonesome surroundings, and you have a recipe for one smoldering romance.

Aside from that whole "may possibly get killed by my fanged lover" bit... A tiny, insignificant detail, of course.

Does it stop with the traditional critters? Absolutely not! In this very blog, we have mermaids and dragons, vampires and gods; a veritable cornucopia of creatures, A to Z. (Do we have a Z, actually? What on earth—or beyond—starts with Z? Anyone? Anyone? ... Bueller?) And while modern fairy tales have been Disneyfied quite a bit, we all know that the old tales weren't nearly so light and happy (and only rarely featured a song and dance number).

Mermaids have been known to eat and drown thirsty men; sirens lured sailors to their deaths on craggy rocks. Gods have rarely been so kind as to help from the goodness of their hearts—most have been portrayed as selfish, flawed beings with phenomenal cosmic powers (and very large living spaces, to boot!). Vampires, as we mentioned, drink human blood, werewolves feast on human flesh; witches ate children and bathed in the blood of innocents.

And as if the natural state of their being wasn't enough, we humans have always hunted and destroyed (or captured!) what we don't understand. We have to quantify everything, and to do so we, we must pick it apart... Can you imagine a vampire in a laboratory?

So tell me your story. What draws you to these once-upon-a-time killing machines? Why do you read paranormal, and what makes you want them?

Hi, my name is Karina Cooper, and I'm addicted to paranormal romance.

In my debut novel, Blood of the Wicked, Silas Smith is not a man who is lured by the forbidden. In his line of work, the forbidden is executed, and he's one of the best witch hunters the Mission can claim—thorough, deadly, and most of all, dedicated. His task? Simple enough: use Jessie Leigh to hunt down the witch that is her baby brother, no matter how many lies it takes to force her hand. Unfortunately for him, Jessie's a witch, too, and she's not going to roll over without one hell of a fight. There's just one problem...

Like most of us, Jessie's got a thing for the forbidden. And the man who'll kill her if he learns the truth is about as forbidden as a witch can get.

Bets, anyone?